Social Media - A Boon but How?

Whenever there is a significant technological advancement, it generates debate over the change - whether it’s “good” or “bad.” One such sensitive topic is that of social media. Internet-based, social media tools like email, Facebook, and YouTube have revolutionized the way human beings get information and communicates or interacts with one another. In a short span of time, social media has had some very positive effects in terms of empowering and connecting people. At the same time, they have provided new platforms for some decidedly unhealthy and destructive behaviors.



One of the biggest advantage of social media is that it nurtures relationships. Improving communication and strengthening human connection is the reason social media emerged. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, chat groups, LinkedIn, and countless other social networking sites help people build relationships and making new friends. Regardless of where a person lives, it’s possible to find others who share the same interests and concerns. Social Media offers certain advantages like:

1. Anonymity - Many people find it easier to share problems and feelings openly when there’s minimal risk of identification or “real-life” consequences.

2. 24/7 availability - The internet never sleeps, and with the prevalence of cell phones, you don’t even need to be home at your computer to access the resources you need. In the event of a crisis, this can truly be life-saving.

3. No geographic limitations - Location can be an obstacle for participating in traditional support groups that require physical attendance. Online groups pull members from all over and can host larger numbers of people, adding to the pool of knowledge and experience.



The internet and social media boost productivity. These tools offer more information— including real-time news—than a library full of encyclopedias, and the information’s accessible at any time of day or night. Studies have linked internet/social media use with greater success in academics as well as improved job performance and employment prospects. Social media gives small business owners the power to be more competitive with larger companies. By simply creating and maintaining a Linkedln account they can reach a wider audience, share press releases and other company news, connect with job seekers, and more.


Ultimately, whether social media is “good” or “bad”/“healthy” or “unhealthy”, is directly related to how they are used. Key to enjoying the benefits while avoiding the problems is to use these powerful tools sensibly, constructively, and in moderation. Like food, which we truly can’t live without, the right choices in the right amounts keep people healthy and satisfied, while poor choices and excess consumption can lead to significant, potentially life-threatening health conditions.